2023 WAIS Workshop

Deadlines Registration Agenda Meals Travel Harassment Policy Early-Career Support


Morning at University of Minnesota's Cloquet Forestry Center

Thirtieth Annual WAIS Workshop
September 25–28, 2023
Cloquet Forestry Center
University of Minnesota
Cloquet, MN USA

The 2023 WAIS Workshop will be held in Cloquet, MN, at University of Minnesota's Cloquet Forestry Center, a research and education site located on the southern edge of North America's boreal forest. This NSF- and NASA-sponsored meeting hosts transdisciplinary and societally critical science focused on marine ice-sheet and adjacent earth systems, with particular emphasis on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The 2023 meeting is hosted locally by Peter Neff (University of Minnesota) and the rest of WAIS Organizing Committee (Knut Christianson, Mickey MacKie, Brooke Medley, Matt Siegfried, Lauren Simkins). 

The meeting begins with an icebreaker pizza dinner on Monday evening, September 25. Sessions are organized by topic, with keynote speakers for some sessions, followed by contributed talks and concluding with a panel discussion. Poster sessions will be held separately. We anticipate about 40-50 talks. The formal meeting agenda will end at lunch on Thursday, September 28, followed by a set of workshops open for any WAIS Workshop attendee. We will also continue our workshop-wide discussion about community health as part of the scientific agenda.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are embraced at the WAIS Workshop, and we are committed to creating and maintaining a workshop environment that is safe, inclusive, harassment-free, and welcoming to all genders, races, identities, self-expressions, ethnicities and cultures. Please see the WAIS Workshop policy on harassment for more information.


Deadlines for registration, abstract submission, and early-career travel support will be announced in the coming weeks.


Registration information for the 2023 WAIS Workshop will be forthcoming. In addition to our in-preson conference option, there will be a public livestream that does not require registration. A link for livestreaming will be sent to the WAIS Workshop email list.

Lodging at the Cloquet Forestry Center is limited and in shared rooms. Staying on site allows interaction and collaboration among the meeting participants in an informal and beautiful setting, so please register early to ensure you can stay on site. In addition to our on-site lodging, we will reserve room blocks in nearby hotels that are less than 10 minutes by car. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any lodging concerns you may have. 

Registration fees: 

Registration information will be availabile in the coming weeks. If there are any questions, please contact us

A note about the virtual livestream: The 2023 WAIS Workshop will have a free livestream option that will allow viewing all talks and discussions free of charge, with an opportunity to submit questions/comments for presenters and panelists digitally. Additional details, including links, will be sent to the WAIS Workshop email list. Like in years past, all sessions except our Community Health session will be recorded and archived on YouTube after the conference.

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Plan to arrive Monday, September 25 for dinner and socializing; dinner is included in the registration fee and we ask for a small donation to cover drinks. The WAIS Workshop is 2½ days, concluding with lunch on Thursday, September 28. We will have around 40-50 talks that cover all aspects of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet system, including research from glaciologists, oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, biologists, computer scientists, and engineers at all career stages. We also enourage abstracts that discuss relevant aspects of communicating WAIS science beyond the research community as well as ideas to improve the diversity, inclusion, and equity of our field. Following each set of oral presentations, a panel of the session's speakers and a moderator will lead an open discussion about the general theme, and examine what the significance of new insights presented in the talks is for the West Antarctic system. In addition to talks, WAIS Workshop will have space for posters. There will be an opportunity to give a very brief overview of a poster topic to the audience just prior to the poster sessions. Posters have historically received a great deal of attention at WAIS Workshops.

Basic Agenda:

Monday: Afternoon arrival, 4:30pm Steering Committee Meeting, 6:00pm opening icebreaker with dinner and drinks (please bring cash or Venmo for drinks)
Tuesday: Meeting begins with breakfast followed by two morning sessions of presentations, then lunch, one session of presentations, followed by the first poster session, and dinner on-site.
Wednesday:  Similar schedule to Tuesday.
Thursday: Thursday morning will begin with breakfast, two morning sessions, then lunch. After lunch, we will have workshop opportunities for WAIS Workshop attendees.

Guidelines for Abstract Submission and Presentations

Abstract format and submission: Abstract information will be available in the coming weeks

Talk guidelines:

  • Talks will be 10 or 15 minutes long, including time for questions and switching presenters. Your presentation length will be assigned by the Organizing Committee and will be noted on the final agenda, which will be released in late August. We have a full meeting so please be mindful of your time and courteous to the next presenter. A discussion period concludes each session where further questions can be addressed.
  • All presentation files will be loaded on one central laptop to expedite the transition between presenters. We request you provide us with your presentation the day prior to your assigned time. Dinner time is a good time for this.
  • Powerpoint or PDF files are preferred. Keynote is available. Please email wais@mines.edu if you would like to use a different format.
  • After the conference, presentations will be posted with the agenda on the WAIS Workshop site. If you prefer we don't publish your presentation, e-mail the Organizing Committee at: wais@mines.edu.
  • For 2023, all talks will be livestreamed for those that cannot attend the conference. If you have concerns about livestreaming your talk, please contact the WAIS Workshop Organizing Committee. These livestreams will be recorded and archived on our website.

Poster guidelines:

  • Preceding the in-person poster session will be a brief opportunity for poster presenters to give a one-slide/one-minute pitch about their research.
  • For space efficiency, posters cannot exceed 4 feet in height or width.

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Registration fee includes Monday dinner, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on Tuesday and Wednesday, and breakfast and lunch on Thursday. Snacks and coffee are also included. Please indicate any dietary restrictions you may have on the registration form and the caterer will do their best to accommodate. 

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Air Travel and Ground Transportation

We recommend you fly into either Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) or Duluth International Airport (DLH). MSP is approximately 2 hour drive from our conference venue, whereas DLH is approximately a 40 minute drive. As in years past, we will set up an electronic ride-sharing board for those wishing to carpool to or from the airport (we highly recommend carpooling!). 

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WAIS Workshop Policy on Harassment

The WAIS Workshop is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for participants regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, or other protected status. The WAIS Workshop is a working conference intended for professional networking and collaboration for West Antarctic (and related) researchers. While attending the WAIS Workshop science program or related social events, any participants, including speakers, attendees, volunteers, and anyone else, should not engage in harassment or bullying in any form. All event participants are expected to behave according to professional standards and in accordance with their employer’s policies on appropriate workplace behavior. For issues or concerns during the conference, please contact any of the WAIS Workshop organizers or the local host, all of whom will be wearing WAIS pins. Additional contact information for our hosts and detalis about the reporting process will be available at WAIS Workshop check-in and posted online. This policy applies to all community situations online and offline, including the conference itself, mailing lists, social media, social events associated with the conference, and one-to-one interactions. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the event at the sole discretion of the conference organizers without any refund.

We hope that our policy will reflect the values of the WAIS community. To that end, this harassment policy will be refined and updated to make it represent our community as a whole as our community discussions continue.

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Early-Career Travel Support

The retreat format of WAIS Workshops provides a unique atmosphere where scientists at the start of their career can interact with senior researchers. We therefore strive to make WAIS Workshop accessible through early-career travel support to encourage attendence from a broad specturm of early-career researchers. To this end, our budget includes airfare registration fee support for a limited number of students and early-career researchers. We ask that interested people to submit an abstract on their recent research for consideration for the funding and submit the application for early-career travel support here. We estimate that we have travel support for 10-15 students or recent post-doctoral researchers (≤ 5 years since degree, or ≤ 5 years in career in total if there was a break due to family obligations). Please highlight the relevance of your abstract to West Antarctica, ice sheet stability, ice-ocean or ice-biology interactions, or polar climate change and any other relevant information regarding your funding. We will aim to inform students of the decision on their support in mid to late August to allow time to purchase tickets and register. 

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Questions? Please contact us at wais@mines.edu